The Coalitions were a short-lived Philly harmony group. They began life as The Deltones and were essentially a vehicle for precocious youngster Anthony Anderson who worked under the name Little Tony Talent. Confusion with the Delfonics led to a name change; thus the Coalitions were born. In 1974 they were signed to the indie Philly label, Re Dun who licensed a couple, of their singles to Phil. L.A. Of Soul. Success was only local though and the group soon found themselves label-less. In 1979, therefore, the five piece (Tony “Talent” Anderson, Alan Williams, Bruce Fauntleroy, Milton Williams and Stephen Ferguson) decided to self-finance their own recordings and over a two year period they cut a whole album but for reasons never fully explained it was never issued.
Last year UK label Soul Junction lifted a single form the album and the success of ‘The Memory Of You’/’On The Block’ amongst soul connoisseurs convinced Soul Junction that the time was right, at last, to release the full album – ‘Colour Me Blue’.
The 9 tracker is a great time piece – a wonderful example of late 70s group soul and cuts like the jaunty ‘Didn’t We Almost Make It’ rival anything by mellower moments O’Jays, Ace Spectrum or Blue Magic. The set also boasts some fine harmony ballads. With its spoken intro, ‘I’m Your Gentleman’ will recall the best of the Manhattans while the complex title track is quite beautiful.
There are two throwaway dance items – and you can probably guess the flavour of both ‘Funky Groove’ and ‘Boogie Shack (Honey Hunting At The Disco)’ from their titles. ‘The Memory Of You’ is the standout though and easy to hear why Soul Junction went with it as a single. It’s a quirky, infectious mid-tempo soul groove that’s offered in full length and edited versions.
Failure to get the album released back in ’81 meant that the Coalitions imploded but in 1995 Anderson was back in business leading a group called Ol’ Heads who morphed into The Rheel Menn but their recordings meant nothing and Little Tony Talent became little more than a soul footnote; but as ‘Colour Me Blue’ shows he did actually possess what his pseudonym implied…. what he lacked was luck. Find out more about the Coalitions @ www.souljunctionrecords.co.uk